Tyrone farmers unite against milk prices

Published Wednesday, 22 August 2012
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A collapse in milk prices has driven dairy producers to protest outside a Co Tyrone creamery.

Tyrone farmers unite against milk prices
Farmers are calling for a fair price for milk. (© UTV)

Farmers For Action are demanding bigger returns from the co-operative which runs the Dunmanbridge plant.

They say producing milk is not economical at present after this year's returns for raw milk fell sharply.

Last month, the farmers received 25p per litre compared to 30p per litre in July 2011.

One farmer told UTV: "The problems we are facing at the minute are that we can't pay our bills. There is not enough money coming in and there's too much going out."

Wednesday's protest was not the usual David v Goliath battle between a small producer and big business - the farmers actually own the plant they're protesting outside.

The price they are being paid by the creamery is not set by the United Dairy Farmers co-operative, which runs this processing unit, but by an open auction.

According to the co-operative, the problem is world markets.

A letter to Farmers For Action stated: "The fall in local milk prices has resulted from a global over production of milk," before adding that matters were made worse by the Euro exchange rate which has moved against them.

The protesters don't accept this argument - they believe their own co-op could pay more.

William Taylor, from Farmers For Action, told UTV: "We do not want the general public to pay anymore for what they are paying by way of milk and milk products.

"We just want out share of the cake and we are currently not getting it and haven't been for a long time.

"We have now reached the end of the line, now it has to happen. Thirty pence plus for a first step heading towards 40 pence which is the cost of production including money for reinvestment."

Some farmers are already considering leaving United Dairy Farmers.

One local farmer told UTV: "As a member I gave in my resignation that I would like to leave. My feed and fertiliser bill is more than what is coming in for the milk and other milk buyers are giving 2p more."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Get Real in Tyrone wrote (891 days ago):
Builder in the Country - You obviously dont know much about farming!!!
Builder in the country wrote (892 days ago):
Sure the money from Europe keeps you all going you have no real need to work.
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